The Risen Jesus is the Holy Spirit?

Here I am going to respond to selections of Kel’s article.  The selections I have chosen are the ones I regard as embodying Kel’s main arguments; I have left out what I regard as repetitious or off the point.  If I have missed or misunderstood Kel’s arguments, anyone who reads this – including Kel – is welcome to bring that to my attention.

. . .

Argument:

“In the doctrine of the Trinity, Jesus is most definitely NOT the Holy Spirit. They are two DIFFERENT persons in the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity would be false if Jesus is the Holy Spirit. But the Scriptures do make it absolutely clear that the Risen Jesus is the Holy Spirit.”

Response:

As I pointed out in the section on 2 Corinthians 3:17, it is not only the Trinity that would be false if Jesus is the Holy Spirit, but also Kel’s own doctrine.  In the Trinity doctrine the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person; in Kel’s doctrine the Holy Spirit is the nature of God.  In either case, the Holy Spirit is uncreated and has always existed.  In Kel’s doctrine Jesus is created and has not always existed.  It is without question that nothing that was created can ever become something that was uncreated.  The closest we get to something like that is in John 1:14, which says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  It does not say, and cannot mean, that the flesh became the Word, or that the Word was changed into flesh; the Word always was, but the Word assumed flesh at a point in time.

The fact that the Word appeared as flesh at that time does not mean the Word underwent a change in its nature.  The definition of “became” in vs. 14 is, according to Thayer, definition # 5 of ginomai: “to become, be made, ‘in passages where it is specified who or what a person or thing is or has been rendered, as respects quality, condition, place, rank, character.'” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, emphasis mine).

Kel’s doctrine that the risen Jesus became the Holy Spirit makes no sense for that reason, but also because the Holy Spirit already existed before Jesus was ever born (Psalm 51:11, Isaiah 63:10-11, Matthew 1:18 and 20).  Kel’s assertion that Jesus inherited the Holy Spirit or nature of God, even if true, would not mean that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, or is the nature of God.

A further problem with the teaching that Jesus is the Holy Spirit is the fact that Jesus explicitly makes a distinction between himself and the Holy Spirit.  In John 16:13-14, for example, Jesus said “when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

In John 15:26 Jesus said, “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”

And in John 14:16-17, Jesus said “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you . . .”

Jesus was one helper; the Holy Spirit is another helper who was already with them.

Now, what evidence does Kel have for his claim that Jesus is the Holy Spirit other than 2 Corinthians 3:17, which I would argue does not mean what Kel thinks it means? (See section on 2 Corinthians 3:17).

Argument:

“Adam was dust and only dust. And then God breath the breath of life into that dust and that dust became a living soul. The DUST became a soul. The recipe for a soul is to take dust and add spirit to that dust. Then the dust ITSELF becomes a soul”.

Response:

The text does not say that the dust became a living soul, but that “the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being,” or a living soul.  Thus it is the man (dust + spirit) that became a living soul, not the dust by itself.  If, however, it is contended that in some sense the dust became a living soul, let it be noted that the living soul it became was, like the dust, created; it came into existence at a point in time.  This argument lends no support to the contention that a created being can “become” the uncreated nature of God.

Argument:

“His sacrificial body was consumed by God; his crucified body clothed in the Spirit of the Father. Holy Spirit and the body of Jesus have become one new creation, a new kind of humanity, the second Adam, immortal humanity, Spiritual flesh and bones,” and “That crucified body known as Jesus now is Holy Spirit.”

Response:

Even if the first sentence is true, Jesus would not be the Holy Spirit, but instead clothed with the Holy Spirit.  The statements that “Holy Spirit and the body of Jesus have become one new creation” and “That crucified body know as Jesus now is Holy Spirit” cannot be true because of the fact that the body of Jesus cannot become uncreated, which the Holy Spirit is even in Kel’s definition of its being the nature of God.  So these sentences do not bolster Kel’s overall argument.

Argument:

“He IS the Spirit of God having inherited his Father’s divine nature, his crucified body becoming one with Holy Spirit . . .”

Response:

“Being one with” the Holy Spirit is not the same as “being” the Holy Spirit.  And if you inherit something, that does not mean that you are the thing you inherited.  This argument also fails to prove Kel’s point.

Argument:

He goes on to quote from Romans 8, which includes the following:

“9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” – Romans 8:9-11

Response:

It is true that verse 9 appears to use the terms “Spirit of God” and “Spirit of Christ” interchangeably, as if they are one Spirit (however, the Spirit of Christ could mean the Spirit that comes from Christ rather than the Spirit who is Christ, and the same is true of the Spirit of God; and we know that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is sent by Jesus).  If Jesus and the Spirit seem to be spoken of as one in verse 9, in verse 11 they are distinguished one from another by speaking of the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead.  And they are even more explicitly distinguished personally one from the other in the verses quoted above, John 16:13-14, 15:26, and 14:16-17.  So I would have to conclude that if the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Christ are one Spirit, it would be in the sense of 1 Corinthians 6:17 (But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him).  By the way, does this mean that people who are joined to the Lord are also the Holy Spirit?  I think not.

Distinction of Spirit from Spirit is far harder to demonstrate in the Bible than distinction of person from person.  So, the quotation from Romans 8 also does not prove Kel’s argument.  He also quotes 2 Corinthians 3:17, which is covered in my response to that section, and repeats some of what is said here.  Does he have anything else?

He argues that the glory of the Spirit is the glory of Christ, but that doesn’t prove that the Holy Spirit is Christ, and any good Trinitarian believes the same thing; Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit all have the same glory.  He finishes up by repeating his misunderstanding of Ephesians 4, a passage which he doesn’t seem to realize is more consistent with the Trinity than it is with his own position, since in the “one Spirit” chapter 4 refers to, there are many persons.

Ephesians 4:4-5

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also YOU (plural) were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

One body but many in that body, one hope but many who hope; so it would seem there is one Spirit but many in that Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:17

“But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.”

And lest we forget, if Kel had any successful argument proving that Jesus is the Holy Spirit (which he doesn’t), it would actually demolish his own position even more decisively than it would the Trinitarian position; for in his doctrine the Son is only a created being and the Holy Spirit is uncreated, while in the Trinity doctrine both the Son and the Holy Spirit are uncreated and are in fact aspects of the same Being, which is God.  It seems that Kel is in fact arguing against himself here and doesn’t realize it.